What is the best project management tool
’A good project manager is a combination of a strong leader, an effective communicator, and a strategic thinker.’ – Anonymous
This is indeed true, project managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a project, from its initiation to its closure, and is a pivotal role in ensuring that teams work together, budgets are met, timelines are managed and procurements are in place.
Unfortunately, great character qualities are not enough to ensure project success.
According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) 2020 Pulse of the Profession report, only 63% of projects met their goals and business intent.
The same PMI report found, however, that high-performing organisations successfully complete 92% of their projects on time and within budget by utilising project management tools and techniques.
Using the right tools and techniques in each of the ten knowledge areas can help project managers effectively manage project scope, schedule, budget, and quality, as well as mitigate risks and manage stakeholders’ expectations.
To quote Peter Drucker: ‘The success of a project depends not only on the project manager’s leadership but also on the tools they use to manage it.’
In this article, we take a closer look at the project management tools and techniques that can be used in each of the 10 knowledge areas to ensure the success of a project.
Best project management tools in respect of 10 knowledge areas
Integration Management is all about managing the entire project from planning to execution. The project management plan is a crucial tool that outlines the project’s scope, budget and timeline. Other helpful tools include project charters, methodologies, review meetings and charters.
In Scope Management, project managers define, document and control the scope of the project. Scope statements, work breakdown structures (WBS) and requirements analysis are tools used to ensure project success.
For Time Management, creating and maintaining a project schedule is key. Gantt charts can help visualise the project schedule and identify critical paths. Project network diagrams and schedule performance are also helpful tools.
Cost Management involves planning and controlling project costs. Tools like cost-benefit analysis, project budgets, cost estimates, cost baselines and management plans can be used to manage project costs effectively.
Quality Management ensures the project meets required quality standards. Quality control charts and checklists are tools that project managers use to achieve this.
Human Resource Management involves managing the project team. Performance appraisals, team building and conflict resolution techniques can be used to manage the team effectively.
Communication Management is all about creating, distributing and storing project information. Progress reports, change requests, stakeholder management plans and kick-off meetings are helpful tools for keeping track of project communications.
Risk Management involves identifying, analysing and mitigating project risks. Risk management plans, contingency plans and lessons-learned reports are used to manage risks effectively. Additional helpful tools include risk registers, impact matrices and risk rankings.
Procurement Management is all about acquiring goods and services for a project. Tools such as procurement documents, supplier evaluation criteria and contract management techniques can be used to manage project procurement.
Stakeholder Management involves identifying, analysing and managing stakeholders’ expectations. Project managers use tools such as stakeholder analysis, engagement plans and stakeholder registers to manage stakeholders effectively.
Benefits of using tools and techniques
‘Project management tools are essential to keep a project on track, on time, and within budget. They enable project managers to see the big picture and make informed decisions.’ – John Smith
By utilising project management tools and techniques, project managers can improve their overall chances of completing a project successfully, whilst enjoying several related benefits, including
- Improved collaboration and communication among team members
- Assurance that the project is completed on time and within budget
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Reduced risks and minimal issues
- Delivery of a high-quality end product
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
Top 10 project management tools
Technology can help streamline workflows, improve accuracy and simplify the complexity of dependent tasks.
Selecting the right tool is essential, but with so many tools available, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your team’s needs. Let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular tools and how they can benefit you and your team.
Asana is a tool that helps you plan projects, manage tasks, and communicate with your team. It’s easy to use and has automation features to help you save time.
Trello uses a board, list, and card system to help you organise tasks and collaborate with team members. It’s perfect for remote teams who need to stay connected in real time.
Jira is specifically designed for software development teams. It provides agile project management, issue tracking, and team collaboration features. Plus, it’s highly customisable to fit your team’s needs.
Monday.com makes it easy to plan projects, manage tasks, and collaborate with your team. It has a visual interface that lets you track progress and identify areas that need attention.
Basecamp is great for project planning, task management, team collaboration, and document sharing. It’s user-friendly and integrates with other tools like Google Drive and Dropbox.
With Wrike, you can plan projects, manage tasks, collaborate with your team, and track time. Plus, it has automation features to help you be more productive.
Microsoft Project is perfect for teams that use other Microsoft products like Excel and Outlook. You can plan projects, manage tasks, and track progress all in one place.
Smartsheet helps you plan projects, manage tasks, and collaborate with your team. It also has automation features and is highly customisable to fit your team’s needs.
With Teamwork, you can plan projects, manage tasks, collaborate with your team, and track time. It integrates with other tools like Google Drive and Dropbox.
Notion is perfect for project planning, task management, team collaboration, and document sharing. It’s user-friendly and highly customisable. Plus, it offers a wide range of templates to make project management easier.
Choosing the best options
When choosing software for your project management its important to consider the following features as these would have a great impact on your ability to manage:
- Task management
- Team collaboration
- Learning materials
- Email integration
- Document management
- Mobile capability
Depending on your needs and that of your team, choose software tools that will work in your favour and will simplify the process.
As Satya Nadella says: ‘Technology can help to streamline processes and automate repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time and resources for more important work.’
‘Effective project management is not just about completing tasks, it’s about delivering value. Project management tools help project managers achieve this by enabling them to prioritise tasks, track progress, and measure outcomes.’ – Mark Langley
Whether you are managing a small or large project, using project management tools and techniques can help you deliver a successful outcome.
To learn more about project management, enrol for our Project management course and learn how to streamline your projects with modern methodologies.